Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Commissioner urges vigilance, calls for vaccinations


EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on Friday praised Cyprus’ facilities for long Covid patients as she reiterated calls to the public to get vaccinated and remain vigilant.

Kyriakides and Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas visited the Latsia health centre that is being used as a vaccination centre for children, she noted that although a number of countries were beginning to relax their measures, everyone must remain vigilant as there was no room for complacency.

The EU was closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, she said but would not speculate on whether the pandemic is edging to an end.

Member states must press on with their vaccination programmes, she added. Asked about a possible fourth dose, she said that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said that this is currently not recommended for the general population but added that it was to states whether they wanted to give an additional booster jab to vulnerable groups.

As to the possibility of a booster jab for teenagers, she said the EMA was currently collecting scientific data on the issue. As to vaccination rates among children, she said numbers were stable in all member states and this was due to the Omicron variant which has led to large numbers of people either infected or self-isolating as contacts.

“Today, at EU level about 25 per cent of children under 18 have been vaccinated,” she said.

Numbers in Cyprus were at the same levels. There was currently a small drop in the vaccination rate, due to many children testing positive or being contacts.

“Now that infections are falling, children who have cancelled their appointments will come for their vaccination,” she said.

Earlier, Kyriakides briefed the minister on the EU’s strategy on cancer and congratulated the minister on the opening of a centre for long Covid patients.

“I consider this to be a very important step for Cyprus, to offer this rehabilitation centre. Very few countries have set up such centres. Long Covid is huge issue, because we know people with Covid may have difficulties several months later,” she said.


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